The sports world is hailing Eliud Kipchoge, after the extraordinary Kenyan crushed the marathon field to win the final athletics gold medal in the Japan Olympics.
A Covid-hit Games which has proved the doubters wrong, despite obvious problems such as crowd-less events, had a glorious end thanks to Kipchoge, who confirmed his status as an athletics legend.
Kipchoge, who won the gold medal at the 2016 games in Rio, was a class apart as he defended his title with ridiculous ease, in 2:08.38.
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"We've never seen his like before, we'll never see his like again," screamed one of the TV commentators.
Commentators said that he had put athletics/marathons on the map in a way Usain Bolt and Tiger Woods had done in their disciplines.
The great man finished 1m20s ahead of Abdi Nageeye of Netherlands with Bashir Abdi of Belgium claiming bronze.
Kiwi Zane Robertson who bravely held on to the lead group for a long period, apparently needing some medical assistance after finishing according to commentators. He was 36th, 8m26s behind the winner. Of the 105 starters, 28 did not finish. The other Kiwi in the race, Malcolm Hicks was 64th, about six minutes behind Robertson.
The race was held in Sapporo, 800km north of Tokyo, where the conditions were milder than the capital, but were still very tough.
But Kipchoge cut loose on the flat course leaving a world class field struggling in his wake on roads which – thanks to the location out of Tokyo - were lined with clapping spectators.
The 36-year-old Kipchoge, the world record holder, was always near the front of the lead pack and looked so relaxed in tough conditions that he managed a fist pump with a Brazilian runner around the halfway mark.
With about 10km left, Kipchoge roared away from a tiny pack which included his Kenyan team mates Amos Kipruto and Lawrence Cherono. The contenders ran up the white flag rather than risk a collapse by trying to keep up with the incredible Kenyan.
There was a brave run from Kiwi Robertson, although he didn't figure at the business end of the gruelling contest.
The 31-year-old Robertson, who won the 5000m bronze in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, was in the lead pack of about 30 for a large part of the race. But when the great Kipchoge put his foot down around the 1h20m mark, Robertson was among those who found the going too tough.
Top marathoners such as the 2012 gold medal winner Stephen Kiprotich from Uganda struck early trouble, in around 28C and 79 per cent humidity.